Beauty

On a Quest for Good Skincare

I’m the first one to admit that I’m not overly obsessed with “clean” products. From makeup to food to cleaning supplies and baby products, I use everything under the sun if it tastes good and does what I want it to accomplish. Over the last year or so, I have been much more cognizant of what I’m putting on my skin, what’ I’m putting in my body and especially what I’m putting in or on William’s. Sometimes laziness and convenience takes over, but I have tried to take a much more natural approach with a lot of our products. I still use plenty of products with “chemicals” in them, but I’m trying to balance that with some really good products that have transformed how I approach my skin and my baby’s.

Growing up, I had horrible acne that ravaged my tween years and forced me to cake on layers of makeup and try multiple medicines to help clear my skin. I ended up on Accutane for a lot of my teenage years and it was truly a miracle drug for me and for my brother. I’m not going into the controversies around Accutane, but for us, it saved our faces and made me much more confident during the years that I needed it the most. However, one of the side effects of taking the medicine is EXTREMELY dry skin to the point of discomfort. So I grew up thinking that dry skin = no acne. I rarely used sunscreen (except when I was actively on the medicine) with the hope that a sunburn would dry out my skin enough to not have to take another round of Accutane. The idea of a “dewy glow” was foreign to me because any sort of oil or “dew” equaled eventual acne in my mind. I’m paying for it now and over the last few years I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out the right regime for my skin. Outside of treatments from professional dermatologists, I’ve found some wonderful products that have transformed my skin and introduced me to a world of a more “natural” routine. I actually tend to switch up brands regularly based on favorites and what strikes my favorite routine at that moment.

I still have acne and especially during big hormonal changes, I notice extreme highs and lows. I no longer describe my skin as dry or oily or even combination because it can drastically change depending the season, time of the month, time in my life, etc. so I feel like I have used and liked everything under the sun. I am also still very weird about no makeup so I’ve been trying to limit the amount of times I do full coverage, which used to be every day for work. And then if we were going out that night, I would come home, take off my makeup and then reapply (eye roll emoji). The other day, I could see my skin peeling through my makeup so I finally just took it off with a wipe after being frustrated. I instead put on a little bit of serum and eye cream and around noon I actually felt like it looked pretty OK. This is also coming from the person who used to sleep in her makeup and then reapply on top of old makeup the next morning – so take what I tell you with a grain of salt.

Being pregnant, I’m much more cognizant of what I put on my skin. I don’t use any retinoids or acne medicines and focus more on treating the dryness and keeping it moisturized. It also hasn’t helped that much of my pregnancy has been during the winter so my skin is essentially peeling if I’m not heavily moisturizing. The following is my favorite routine right now – I will do a follow up once this baby comes and my skin changes again with labor but for now it has been all about the moisture. I’m not kidding when I tell you – when I had William, my nose was bright red (as it had been throughout my pregnancy),  and literally the next day after delivering, it was back to my skin color. So, as you can imagine, I know that I know my routine will change pretty quickly after this gal comes. Bodies are incredible and wonderful and also very frustrating. It takes time and effort to keep up with all of my skin changes. If you are one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have crazy skin…I’m very jealous.

While pregnant – main focus is to treat overly DRY skin – overall takes MAYBE 7 minutes – including brushing my teeth. I don’t have the patience to spend 20 minutes applying multiple products.

Nighttime Routine:

  • Take makeup off with a makeup wipe – I have been buying these for years. I like them because they do the job and they don’t dry out like some other brands I’ve used. I’ve also been known to grab a baby wipe – whatever is going to efficiently start the process.
  • Use cleansing oil to take remaining makeup off and cleanse my face
  • Use this toner
  • Use rose oil serum I don’t know if you have been introduced to The Ordinary skin care but I LOVE them. I found them when I was trying to find some cost effective options for serums and I fell in love. I suggest checking out everything they have to offer and trying a few different kinds of serums and topicals – this is just one I am using right now
  • Use either this Tula mask or this Summer Friday mask at night and never take it off. I think both say to leave on and then gently wipe off with a cloth, but I put them both on and sleep in them. When I wake up my skin feels SO soft

Morning Routine

  • Wash face in the shower with this cleanser – I’m obsessed with this and go through a big bottle regularly. It isn’t harsh at all to the point that I can use it on my eyes to take off makeup. I love using it in the morning because it leaves my face feeling soft
  • Use this toner
  • Use this serum
  • Use this eye cream I actually haven’t seen much related to First Aid skincare in a million years but I found this a couple of years ago and I haven’t swayed since. It’s inexpensive but seems to do the job and this little bottle lasts forever
  • Use this or this or this moisturizing cream. To be completely honest, A few of the Drunk Elephant products haven’t been great for my skin. So many of my friends rave about them but I tend to break out. This moisturizer, however, has been pretty good and I do find myself coming back to it. This one from Chanel is one my mom introduced me to years ago and I still come back to it regularly. I’m also nostalgic for it because I feel like it was the first product that really helped my DRY skin and one that I splurged on – it is worth the cost but is also something I tend to ask for at Christmas or for my birthday. And this Tula one is perfect for making your skin feel soft but with a very small amount and thin layer. It seems to sell out fast so I jump at it when it is available
  • The Ordinary Brand primer or Bare Minerals Primer – allow these to set in before applying makeup
  • After I shower, I use this lotion all over my body and then follow up with this stretch mark cream. I am terrible at maintaining a routine for stretch marks but I love love love this stuff and get excited to use it. I pretty much apply from the neck down to my upper thighs.

Other

  • Twice a week I use a mask of some sort that needs to be applied and removed. I have fallen in love with sheet masks and I LOVE these and these on Amazon
  • I also JUST purchased this ice roller for my face. I’m very intrigued because I love anything cold but have honestly never used such a thing – it’s supposed to help with puffiness which seems to be a standard in my life right now
  • Over the summer of last year, I started to transition to “all natural”’ deodorant. This also coming from someone who used anything with the words “clinical protection” on the cover – so I knew it would be a transition. However, everything I had read about aluminum being harmful to your health and it being more and more linked to things like alzheimers, really started to concern me and so I decided to start looking for some more natural options. I started with Native, which plenty of people rave about, but it really, really irritated my skin and I felt like barely went on. It was super dry and hard to apply for me. However, given the reviews from others, I still reco you try it if you are considering because it may work for you. It’s also now available in Target which is VERY convenient. I also tried a few brands from Whole Foods – like Tom’s- but again, they were too dry for me and really didn’t feel like they added any protection (i.e. I stunk). And then I found Kopari which has now been my go to. I feel like it’s a decent price and is applied like any other gel based deodorant. I’m obsessed with the coconut smell and it keeps me dry all day. I will say that it took a good 4 weeks before it became my norm but they also have some good suggestions for detoxing your system to make the all natural products work. Using this body scrub really helped me and it smells amazing. I haven’t met one person who was like OH it was amazing immediately – it is a process and takes time. However, worth it in the long run 🙂

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